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DOT Tests New Accident Rating

The U.S. Department of Transportation is studying how to allow some truck accidents to be reported officially as having been non-preventable.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is conducting a two-year study of how fleets go about listing accidents on the DOT Safety Measurement System.

It is looking into possible procedures for allowing the filing of information FMCSA can regard as adequate for the non-preventable characterization.

If FMCSA finds a crash was not preventable, it will not be included in the trucker’s Crash Indicator Behavioral Analysis Safety Improvement Category, (BASIC) score.

“Stakeholders have expressed concern that the Crash Indicator BASIC may not identify the highest-risk motor carriers for interventions and that the listing of crashes on the public website, without an indication of preventability, can give an inaccurate impression about the risk posed by the company,” FMCSA observes.

“The data gathered through the demonstration program will allow the agency to better evaluate the utility of making crash preventability determinations,” the agency adds.

Eight categories of accident would be automatically eligible to be reviewed. Among them are accidents where a truck or bus is hit by a driver who is under the influence, driving in the wrong direction, strikes the commercial vehicle in the rear or while the truck or bus was legally stopped or parked.

Other situations include attempts to commit suicide by stepping or driving in front of the truck; an accident that damages the truck after striking an animal in the roadway; where a truck is struck by infrastructure, such as falling trees or rocks; and occasions where a truck is struck by cargo or equipment from another vehicle.

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